HEARD AROUND TOWN
Keeping an open and honest dialogue between our school district and the community is our top priority and a necessity to ensure the continued success of Strongsville City Schools. The goal of our "Heard Around Town" page is to respond to misconceptions in the community about our school district. If you have heard something about Strongsville City Schools that you would like to clarify or need more information about, click HERE to submit and an answer will be provided below. This page will be updated every Monday with new submissions being added to the top.
HEARD AROUND TOWN:
With the passing of the levy, we’ve been eagerly awaiting information on the choir departments biennial trip to New York. The 2020 graduating senior class is eagerly awaiting information for this trip. Much to our dismay, rumor has it the response from the district was the choir department should do this every 3 years like the band department trip. Please reconsider your decision. We residents passed this levy to better our school district, the parents pay for our children to go, and there was no prior notification that this would never happen for the students. Perhaps allow this trip and the say the next one will be in three years. Very disappointed to hear this is being taken away without any prior warning and no apology to the students affected who’ve looked forward to this for the last two years.
A few years ago, the Strongsville High School music department made the decision that choir, orchestra, and band would each follow the guideline of planning out-of-state trips every three years. This decision allows Directors and families to properly plan and budget for the trips, encourages more students to attend/experience the trips, and establishes manageable fundraising expectations for families, our community, and our Booster groups. Each music group is committed to making these out-of-state opportunities for our students meaningful learning experiences, while balancing the financial obligations that are necessary for participating families. We regret if this decision was not communicated to students and families at the time it was made. Note: The decision by the music department was made prior to any levy being put on the ballot and is not related to the passage of the levy.
HEARD AROUND TOWN:
This was posted on the Strongsville High School page. Please respond because all parents would like an answer.
I sent this email to the BOE last winter and got no response. I believe 20% midterm and final grades punish good students. I have researched how other districts handle their midterm and final exam weighting. It is my belief that our students would be better served by following the examples set by St. Edward High School, Brunswick High School, and Solon High School.
St. Edwards: Students with an “A” entering midterms and finals do not need to take the final or midterm.
Brunswick: Year long classes: Each quarter is worth 20%. Midterm, final exams are worth 10% each. Semester classes: Each quarter worth 40%, Semester exam worth 20%.
Solon: Year long classes: Each quarter is worth 23%. Midterms, Finals are worth 8%. Semester classes: Each quarter is worth 50%.
By reducing the weight of the final and midterm exams to 10% instead of 20%, we would lend that much more gravitas to the student’s in class work. It would stop penalizing children who take departmentalized tests that their own teacher may or may not have covered in full in class. It would allow grades to be more reflective of the student’s in class performance.
I urge the school board to consider changing the exam weighting at Strongsville High School to better serve the students.
As a school district, we are always looking at our policies and procedures to ensure they are in line with comparable districts. Here is a screenshot from the Strongsville student handbook detailing how final grades are calculated through the 40-40-20 methodology. In reference to the suggestion that we adopt the “Brunswick model” of 20-20-10 versus our 40-40-20, mathematically it is the same methodology and will result in the same final grade. We also compare our methodology to other districts. You can click here to see a sample of the weighting systems used by other districts. There will always be differences, but as you can see, Strongsville’s system aligns with the majority of the school districts that responded. At this point in time, we believe our methodology for weighting semester grades is comparable to other school districts and in the best interest of our grade calculations at the high school level. The high school is working to finalize an exam exemption option and will communicate that to parents once finalized.
HEARD AROUND TOWN:
Mr. Deitrick and Mr. Vukovich will not be back next year at the middle school. Is that true? Who will be taking their places?
That is true. Mr. Deitrick has resigned to take a position closer to home. Mr. Vukovich has retired. The district has posted the SMS Principal position and will be working in the coming weeks to hire a new principal. Former Muraski Principal, Mrs. Peters, has been transferred to SMS to take Mr. Vukovich’s spot as Assistant Principal.